Paul Wolfowitz leaves his home May 16, 2006, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the life of Paul Wolfowitz, former US deputy secretary of defense and former president of the World Bank.


Birth date: December 22, 1943

Birth place: New York, New York

Birth name: Paul Dundes Wolfowitz

Father: Jacob Wolfowitz, a statistician and professor of mathematics

Mother: Lillian (Dundes) Wolfowitz

Marriage: Clare Selgin (1968-2002, divorced)

Children: Sara Elizabeth; David Samuel; Rachel Dahlia

Education: Cornell University, A.B. in Math, 1965; University of Chicago, M.A. in Political Science, 1967; University of Chicago, Ph.D. in Political Science, 1972

Other Facts

Considered one of the principal architects of the Iraq War.


1973-1977 - Works at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in various positions.

1977-1980 - Deputy assistant secretary of defense for regional programs under President Jimmy Carter.

1981-1982 - Head of the policy planning staff at the State Department.

1983-1986 - Assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

1986-1989 - US ambassador to Indonesia.

1989-1993 - Under secretary of defense for policy for the George H. W. Bush administration.

1994-2001 - Dean and professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

1996 - Foreign policy strategist in Bob Dole’s presidential campaign.

2001-2005 - Deputy secretary of defense of the United States.

July 16, 2004 - Wolfowitz is asked about being an architect of Iraq policy during an Aspen Institute speaking engagement. He answers, “I don’t know about the architect label. I certainly will accept responsibility for supporting the decision.”

August 2004 - Reports of Wolfowitz’s romantic involvement with a World Bank employee, Shaha Riza, surface.

March 16, 2005 - Nominated by President George W. Bush to head the World Bank.

March 31, 2005 - Is unanimously approved as the 10th president of the World Bank.

March 31, 2005-June 30, 2007 - President of the World Bank.

April 2007 - Reports surface that in 2005, Wolfowitz arranged for Riza to take a new job at the State Department to avoid a conflict of interest. Her new job reportedly paid a salary of almost $194,000 a year, tax-free.

June 30, 2007 - Steps down as president of the World Bank.

July 2, 2007 - Joins American Enterprise Institute, a think tank, as a visiting scholar.

January 2008-September 2009 - Chairman of the secretary of state’s International Security Advisory Board, a panel on arms control and disarmament.

2008-2018 - Chairman of the US-Taiwan Business Council.

March 17, 2013 - In a Sunday Times interview, Wolfowitz says that he was not the main architect of the Iraq War. He has been referred to as an architect of the Iraq War or Iraq policy in Congressional hearings and in the press as early as 2002. In the interview, he also concedes that there “should have been Iraqi leadership from the beginning.”

August 27, 2021 - Wolfowitz writes a Wall Street Journal op-ed the day after an explosion takes place outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan. He says that the Taliban “enabled” the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and that the “forever war” against the group won’t end with US evacuation.